This year’s event features visiting writers Barbara Duffey and Heidei Czerwiec as well as USD graduate student writers Sara Henning, David Levine, Kevin Phillips and Staci Schoenfeld. The festival includes a morning creative nonfiction writing workshop with Czerwiec, a noon reading by USD grad students, an afternoon poetry writing workshop with Duffey, an afternoon reading by Czerwiec and Duffey, and an evening reading and open mic night hosted by Czerwiec. All sessions are open to the public. There is a registration fee for the writing workshops, and space is limited. No previous writing experience is needed to participate in the workshops. The readings and open mic are free, and the open mic is open to anyone who would like to read five to 10 minutes’ worth of their original work. A signup sheet will be available.

Czerwiec is a poet, essayist and translator who teaches at the University of North Dakota, where she is poetry editor at "North Dakota Quarterly." She is the author of two recent poetry chapbooks — "Self-Portrait as Bettie Page" and "A Is For A-ké, The Chinese Monster" — and the forthcoming lyric essay sequence "Sweet/Crude: A Bakken Boom Cycle." She's also editor of "North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets."

Duffey is a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow in poetry. Her collection "Simple Machines" won the 2015 Washington Prize from The Word Works and will be published in March. She is also the author of "I Might Be Mistaken," and an assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University. She lives in Mitchell, South Dakota, with her husband and son. You can find her online at and on Twitter @BarbaraNDuffey.

The VLP publishes an annual literary journal and hosts the monthly LiTrash event (last Thursday of each month), which includes readings, open mics, poetry slams and writing games. The VLP also hosts an annual short story writing contest, co-sponsors with Dakota Writing Project an annual creative writing camp for high school students and hosts other literary events throughout the academic year.

For a complete festival schedule, registration and fee information, and registration form, visit and click on the Literary Festival link.

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